Only Rob Gronkowski knows what his NFL future holds, but it sure feels like Super Bowl LIII could be the last ride on the gridiron for the New England Patriots’ star tight end.
Gronkowski flirted with retirement following last year’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and has been hampered by back and ankle injuries all season.
While the 29-year-old tight end has been coy about his plans in the lead up to the Patriots’ clash with the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta on Sunday, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who broke the news of Gronkowski’s potential retirement before last year’s Super Bowl, told WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan” on Thursday that there will be no more Gronk Spike no matter how the Super Bowl shakes out.
“I can tell you this, last year in Minneapolis as the Super Bowl was approaching, I kept hearing from people I trust that Gronkowski was going to retire if the Patriots won the game,” Florio said. “And I think that not winning the game caused him to take a step back. Remember after the game, he was asked about the rumor he may retire and he said, ‘I don’t know how you heard about that.’ There’s no that to hear about if it’s not something he was thinking about doing. Deep into April, it was just a few days before the draft that he committed to the Patriots in 2018. I think win or lose he’s done. I think he’s got family members who are hounding him to get out of that pit where he’s constantly facing more concussions, I think that’s the big concern.”
Worrying about his long-term health is a concern Gronkowski subtly echoed during his Wednesday press conference when he discussed the toll the game of football takes on your body.
If Super Bowl LIII is indeed Gronkowski’s final game, he’ll look to help the Patriots secure their third Super Bowl title since drafting the tight end in 2010.